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Today we bring you the second part of Christina’s mission to Rwanda. Don’t forget to read Part I.

Child in Africa

Changing the World, or at Least Trying to…  Rwanda Part II         

Notes from Kigali, Rwanda…

Monday afternoon we visited Africa New Life’s sewing school where girls who’ve endured much can come learn a trade… These girls are sponsored too. I heard the story of a girl who survived the genocide of 1994. We cried as we listened to her tell us about being placed in a Red Cross refugee camp and how some adults came to “adopt” some of the children, but “maybe nobody picked me because I was small.” She ended up jumping the fence, sleeping in cane fields with wild dogs, and eventually (after years) found her way to ANL’s church where “I began to think, maybe, maybe, God considers me…”

In 1994 I was a manager for my high school’s football team. While I was busy running water bottles out to football players and worrying about pizza stuck in my braces, this girl was surviving a genocide and navigating life in a refugee camp. It changed me, hearing her story, watching her pump the pedal on her sewing machine and move fabric underneath the needle and smile at us when we smiled at her. I realized that part of changing the world is hearing what the world is like for other people. If I’d simply stepped into that sewing school and watched these women mend skirts and sew handbags, I wouldn’t have left there any different. But hearing her words, watching her arms move as she motioned climbing that camp fence, hopefully changed me forever.

Selfishly, I hope hearing her story and others will make me a better writer. But I also hope I’m able to use writing to change some of these people’s futures. And I hope you the same. So go out, change the world, and put your fingers to those keys. Kbuuk will do their part. Now you do yours.